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Playback 2018 panel: What can be done to help music creators who are living in the Value Gap?

On Tuesday, October 16, Music Canada hosted Playback 2018, our annual industry dialogue and celebration. Following an annual review from Music Canada Executive Vice President Amy Terrill, and a keynote from professor and author Debora Spar, Playback 2018 featured a panel discussion focused on what can be done to help music creators who are living in the Value Gap. The panel was moderated by Nam Kiwanuka, host and producer for TVO’s The Agenda and former Much Music VJ.

Joining Nam on the panel was:

  • Dr. George Barker – Visiting Fellow London School of Economics, and Honorary Associate Professor Australian National University, who has produced three studies on the Value Gap in Canada
  • Loreena McKennitt – Renowned Canadian musician, record label owner and long-time advocate for musicians’ rights
  • Maia Davies – Toronto/Montreal based songwriter, producer and performing artist, former founding member of Ladies of the Canyon, currently releasing solo recordings as MAÏA
  • Ian MacKay – President, Re:Sound Licensing Company, dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights

Dr. George Barker began the discussion outlining several key figures leading to the loss of revenues for the recording industry, while Ian MacKay spoke to the $1.25M commercial radio royalty exemption and the impact it has on Re:Sound’s performer and record label members. Loreena McKennitt and Maia Davies then provided insight into the struggles artists and label owners are facing as a result of the Value Gap, where, as Davies points out, even songwriting peers with writing credits for Drake’s albums can’t afford their rent.

Reflecting on how remuneration models for artists and labels have changed since she began her career before the advent of the internet, McKennitt said “I would say I’m luckier than most. Because I established it (her label) when I did, and reached success when I did and now I’m a kind of legacy artist and was able to sustain my career in the twilight of my career.” McKennitt continued, “But it’s very clear – I could never reach the height of my success were I to start up now.”

You can watch the full panel discussion below.

Select photos from the panel are posted below and a full Playback 2018 photo gallery can be viewed on Music Canada’s Facebook page.

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